Bananas are often mistakenly identified as trees, but they are actually herbs. They grow from rhizomes, which are underground horizontal stems coming from the mother plant that shoot up suckers. These suckers produce new banana plants. Bananas are not difficult to grow outdoors, but require certain climate conditions. Knowledge of these conditions and how to create the right environment for the plant will help you produce a healthy banana plant.
Make sure that your climate supports banana plants. Bananas like a mean temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Growth slows at 60 degrees Fahrenheit and stops at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. A frost will kill leaves, and temperatures below freezing will kill the plant in the ground.
Choose an area with full sun and deep, well-drained soil in which to plant your banana. Bananas are susceptible to both wind and cold damage so you should choose a protected area. The south or southeast side of a building will provide the best protection and sunlight combination.
Prepare the area for the banana plant. Dig nine to 12 inches into the ground with a spade, breaking up clumps of dirt and removing any stones. Mix a layer of organic compost into the soil to increase soil nutrients for the plant.
Plant the banana plant on the prepared site. If you purchased a container plant, plant the banana so that the top of the root ball is even with soil level. Plant suckers at the same depth they were growing originally. Space multiple bananas eight to 10 feet apart for fruit production and two to three feet apart for decoration.
Water the banana plant deeply after planting. Place a two- to six-inch layer of mulch around the banana plant. This will keep down weeds and hold moisture for the plant. Weeds will compete with the banana plant for moisture and nutrients and will decrease fruit production.